Binge eating and the holiday season

Melissa McGovern ‘16, Staff Writer

With the holidays rapidly approaching, many of us cannot wait to relax at home with our friends and families for the upcoming breaks. One of the best parts of these holiday celebrations is of course, the plethora of food!

This can also be overwhelming for some. Deciding what to have, how much, and being surrounded by so many options of delicious food can be hard. Which can lead us to overindulge, leaving our stomachs tried and stuffed at the end of the day.

Are these gluttonous holiday celebrations still making you anxious? Negative body image and unhealthy life choices like eating disorders, can begin to create blurred lines between just overindulging and binge eating.

So what is the difference between the two? A binge is when you feel completely out of control.  Pam Coffey, LCSW, from eating disorder treatment center, Centre Syracuse, describes binge-eating behaviors as, “eating more rapidly than usual, eating until uncomfortably full, eating large amounts of food even when not physically hungry, eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten, and feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt of overeating.”

Bulimia involves binge-eating as well. After eating large quantities, people with bulimia purge through laxatives, extreme exercise or throwing up to keep their weight in control.

But, just because you happen to eat a little more than usual on Thanksgiving or another holiday does not mean you binged. It is typical for people to do this on special occasions. Remember, food is something that helps us celebrate and which bring people together. If food is making you anxious, afraid, or out of control, seek help from the Wellness Center on campus or someone close to you. You should not have to suffer during such a happy time of year.